Wow—I’m gone for one week and you get three weeks of material! Such a deal! Seriously, I suggest that you wade through this a little at a time. There are more than three dozen resources here and you won’t want to overlook any of them.

 

LIFE ON THE FIELD

Knowing how and what to ask in a cross-cultural environment can make all the difference in a missionary’s effective. Jerry Jones offers ten practical guidelines that you might want to forward to someone you know just starting on the field.

Here is a 14-minute video-based meditation for those who are going through hard times. Who do you know that would appreciate this? And check out the other offerings from the folks at Abide. They are a great resource for those who serve in lonely places.

Day-to-day life on the mission field can be exasperating, to say the least. Craig Thompson shares a fictitious example that exemplifies what most missionaries have experienced. This should enliven your prayer life.

Interpersonal conflict remains one of the most common reasons for global workers leaving the field. “Reconciling interpersonal conflict might just be the holiest experience you have on the field,” says Lauren Pinkston in this post.

Expat perfectionism. It might be an epidemic, according to Jerry Jones. He explains why it exists, how it manifests, and what can be done to combat it. Be careful that you don’t inadvertently support this problem.

I’ve mentioned before the potential for play as a spiritual discipline. “What we may discover is that in the humility and purpose-free rhythm of play there is something about ourselves that God desperately wants to reveal.” You should share this piece by Casey Tygrett with your friends on the field—after you play a little hide-and-seek.

“Beauty can invigorate our working hectic lives, if only we let it.” That’s what Timothy Willard says, and he claims CS Lewis is responsible for his perspective. Curious about how that came about? Read Timothy’s post, then pass it along to your friends on the mission field who could use a break from their hectic ministries.

Friendships on the field are all but indispensable, especially for women. Even so, they can be rare. Becky Lewis tells how friendships can be forged among female coworkers.

Jonathan Trotter addresses a topic of profound importance for every cross-cultural worker. Probably for you, too. With so much pain and loss in our world, everyone should ponder these words.

Another fundamental reality on the mission field: chaos. There are so many aspects of cross-cultural living that can be crazy-making. Anita Colombara has some great advice for how to cope that you can pass on.

Speaking of chaos…M’Lynn Taylor talks about developing a theology of chaos in this post and why it’s a good idea to have one in place before the chaos hits.

 

TRANSITION

Know anyone who has recently returned from the field? Or is about to? These comforting words from Elizabeth Trotter may be just what they need to hear.

Oh my – did this ever bring back the memories! So much can change so quickly while your missionary friends are out of the country. Here is a taste of what it’s like for them to return and discover those changes.

The ladies over at Taking Route talk about being under the influence – of jet lag. While you’re there, check out the other resources to which they link at the bottom of their page.

Permanently transitioning off of the field can be devastating. Sarita Hartz knows from experience. Her thoughts may be useful for someone you know who is dealing with a closed door.

 

MKs/TCKs

Do you love MKs? Want to learn more about what makes them tick and how to help them? Check out the link under UP YOUR GAME below for a conference you might want to attend.

MKs go through a tremendous amount of transition. From the revolving door through which their friends come and go, to their own multiple “homes,” dealing with the losses can be tricky at best. This article talks about how to avoid unresolved grief resulting from all those losses.

Here’s another helpful post about teaching MKs/TCKs how to process their grief. Lauren Wells offers seven practical principles.

The one thing every TCK needs to hear. Many have pointed this out already. Lauren Wells says it again – and very well.

Are MKs really ugly ducklings? That’s the way they often think of themselves. Lauren Wells again, on how parents and caregivers of TCKs can prevent the “Ugly Duckling Syndrome” from manifesting into “terminal uniqueness.” Be sure to read part one and part two.

 

FUNDRAISING

This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so close to the truth. This article describes why fundraising is often such a frustrating experience for global workers. What can you learn to share with your missions committee?

 

UP YOUR GAME

The MK Caregivers Summit is an annual gathering of those who are involved in Care for MKs at some level in their ministries or roles. The goal of the event is to foster networking, encourage each other, share resources, process the latest research, and brainstorm strategies together.

PTSD is a very real part of many missionary’s experience. This article discusses the effect of a translator’s tragic death on a reporter. You can glean a lot of understanding from what Ed has to share.

Should debt disqualify a prospective missionary from going to the field? Read what Jerry Jones thinks. And here’s the $64,000 question (pun intended): What would you be willing to do to alleviate the debt load of some aspiring missionary?

Risk assessment is an increasingly necessary skill to possess in global ministry. Anna Hampton offers this downloadable case study to help you understand what is involved, along with some really practical advice on honing your skills.

 

EVENTS

Adequate pre-field training is a proven deterrent to premature departure from ministry. Here is an excellent one-week intensive coming to Louisville, KY in January.

Coming to Peoria, Illinois November 16-19, the International Conference On Missions (ICOM) will include a missionary care track. You should consider attending. Check out their Facebook page for more details.

Know anyone ministering in Haiti? (Who doesn’t?!) A very difficult place to work, to say the least. Chances are they would benefit from the resources of Zoe Roots, including retreats.

MissionPREP offers pre-field training as well as debriefing. Their next debriefing event will be in December and is based on the DAR program at MTI.

Here’s another debriefing opportunity hosted by CIT (Center for Intercultural Training). It will be held in North Carolina in December.

Coming up November 16: a webinar entitled Missionary Accountability and Missionary Care: Both/And, Not Either/Or. I’m signed up; should you be?

 

EQUIP YOURSELF

Julie Melilli has been around the world several times. Literally. Now she wants to help you visit your favorite missionary. Check out her new site. She offers free trip planning, too.

Care. Seek. Heal. Feed. That is the gist of Velvet Ashes’ missionary care manifesto. Want to be a part of that?

Want more insight into life on the mission field? Head on over to Taking Route and listen to this podcast interview with multi-cultural Elizabeth.

Here is a fairly comprehensive list of safety and security manuals that you will want to look through before you head out to visit your friends on the field. Actually, you might want to make sure they have some of these on hand as well.

Amy talks about that time she desperately needed this kind of friend. The kind you could be.

Burnout is all too common for global workers, but not all burnout is the same. Jessica Stillman explains. “Each subtype of burnout demands a different cure, so you need to know which [type you’re dealing with] before taking action.”

Some of our readers live and work in Australia and New Zealand. Christina Baird’s newsletter would be particularly useful for you. The rest of us could learn a few things from her as well. Here is her page where you can subscribe—along with an insightful conversation about the need to be proactive in missionary care.

 

Until next week, relish God’s grace, revel in your relationship with the Trinity, and continue to believe that your joy will spill over onto your missionary friends.

New on my nightstand (books that arrived this week):

  • The Mood Elevator, by Larry Senn
  • Beautiful Outlaw, by John Eldredge
  • All Things New, by John Eldredge
  • The Search for Significance (updated version), by Robest McGee
  • Altar Ego, by Craig Groeschel

What I’m reading this week:

  • Moving Far Away, by Esther Abbott
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert
  • Consider Your Calling, by Gordon Smith
  • Autumn (an anthology)

Just finished reading:

  • The Space Between Words, by Michele Phoenix
  • Th!nk, by Michael LeGault
  • Writing a Winning Support Letter, by Mike Kim
  • Winston S. Churchill: The Challenge of War, 1914-1916, by Martin Gilbert
  • Not There Yet, by Perry Noble

Up next:

  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Living Far Away, by Esther Abbott

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